25 February, 2021

Letters To The Last Great Editor

Laments and eulogies from far and wide.

Letters To The Last Great Editor

Vinod Mehta’s passing feels like a letting go of a part of my own past. Most times, time “slips by like a field mouse; not shaking the grass” (to use Ezra’s Pound’s lines, not quite in context), and it takes that milestone event to make the inevitability of time so sali­ent—a stark reminder of your own muffled march to the grave. It may be that moment when your mother matter-of-factly tells you over the phone that your grandmother may be on her last few months; or when you watch Sachin Tendulkar walk into the sunset, and realise that your rush of tears is not so much from any personal attachment to the man, as a wistful letting go of your childhood; or, now, hearing that the editor of the wee­kly magazine you grew up on has died. But each moment of memory is not just “a place of arrival, but a point of departure—a catapult throwing you into present times, allowing you to imagine the future instead of accepting it.” Few things perhaps characterised my school days more than Outlook. That eager anticipation of...

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